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Weekends With Alex Witt

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Louisiana 11, Us 10, Romney 8, Clint Eastwood 8, Charlotte 7, Pentagon 6, Raymond James 4, Alex 4, Campbell 3, Ann Romney 3, Obama 3, New Orleans 3, Kristen Welker 2, Chevron 2, Starbucks 2, Buster 2, The Home Depot 2, Gabe 2, Julie Martin 2, Paul Ryan 2,
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  MSNBC    Weekends With Alex Witt    News  News/Business.  
   Live news coverage. New.  

    September 1, 2012
    4:00 - 4:59am PDT  

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drop out or this issue will go away before the election either. it's not the democrats making this up and raising it as a distraction. if you're the party of rick santorum and todd askin and paul ryan, this is going to keep coming up, no matter who you tell a bunch of billionaires you might like to murder, carl. that does it for us tonight. we'll see you monday night. "weekends with alex witt" start now. a still strong isaac sweeps through the midwest at this hour. in some parts the storm is helping more than hurting. the road to charlotte, president obama takes the first step towards the democratic national convention with a march through swing states. new polls from the gop convention. did mitt romney get any bounce after his big speech thursday night? labor day travel. there could be at least one record set when it comes to driving this weekend. we'll bring you those details. a very good morning, everyone.
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welcome to "weekends with alex witt." we're going to get to what's happening right now and that is isaac. the remnants of this storm slowly moving through the midwest bringing new trouble but drought relief to some parts. this is people on the gulf coast just beginning to assess the storm's impact. power crews are restoring electricity in louisiana, but more than half a million people are without service. in mississippi, nearly 3600 customers are without power. our cameras flew with the coast guard over louisiana' flooded areas, more than 5,000 people remain in shelters and the storm is blamed for six deaths. crews are releasing water from a dam from the lake. they say the efforts have successfully relieved pressure on i levee weakened in the storm. the remnants of isaac moving north now and julie martin is live in taylorville, illinois. with a good morning to you, what are the conditions like where
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you are? >> reporter: you know, alex, most of the heavy rain right now is to my north. but finally, if you shake the corn stalks, you can see water coming off of them and that is something farmers in the midwest have not seen for months. an excessive drought just crippling parts of the midwest. right at the time when they needed the rain because the corn crop needs to be harvested. the corn is in pretty poor condition but the farmers may be able to salvage some of it. as far as isaac though and what it's going to do for farmers here, really the big benefit could be for soy beans. it's too late in the season for the corn. the damage is already done here. but we could see three to five inches across parts of the midwest today and that's a significant amount of rain when we're looking at deficits of 8, 9, 10 inches to a feet for the year. so a little emotional relief maybe for the farmers nonetheless. the fact that the skies are still starting to fall with rain and the grass may be getting
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just a little bit greener, alex. >> julie, have you checked in with colleagues on what things are like in new orleans and along the gulf coast in terms of recovery efforts? >> yeah, i think that there's still a big struggle there. we've had widespread flooding there. we've had dam and levees in jeopardy. thousands of people still in shelter and evacuated. it's going to be a long go for them. fortunately, alex, in the midwest, we're not expecting anything in the magnitude in terms of what's left from isaac, localized flash flooding and windy conditions but certainly isaac has lost pretty much all of its steam at this point and it's remnant rain now that will be doing some good instead of some bad. definitely some places needing that big time. julie martin, thanks so much. as we witnessed, isaac's impact is moving far beyond the gulf coast and bill karins is here with the latest. good morning. >> good morning to you.
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we're continuing to watch what remains of isaac, we are watching beneficial rains in the heart of the drought zone picking p the rainfall during the day today. we're watching it push through missouri and st. louis and some portions of central illinois where the drought was horrible all summer long, picked up almost 3 inches of rain. not a drought buster but at least we're heading in the right direction. for the next 48 hours the rain will spread through central illinois and into indiana wroo we're very dry. not a drought buster and it's going to run some people's weekend with the rain but this is the heart of the drought area. we'll take what we can get. now that we're done with isaac, what's next? this is the peak of the hurricane season. there's almost always a storm out tlt to track through the month of september. we have a hurricane that's leaving and heading out in the open atlantic and tropical storm leslie, which is closer than we like to areas down in the caribbean. the upper level low with the circle around it, that's not going to let it head for the
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united states or bahamas but turn it out to sea. let me take you through the holiday weekend forecast. we are going to see temperatures pretty mild across much of the country, 80s up to minnesota and still going to be in the 80s and 90 ace through the southeast. it will be cooler where we have clouds and rain from isaac. that's where the clouds and rain will be pushing throughout your sunday. much of the west remains very dry and fire conditions still very dangerous there and still have a couple of big blazes burning. for labor day, we're going to watch wet weather in areas of the east. we're ending our summer season here with warm temperatures. if you're under isaac, you are going to get wet weather. back to you, alex. >> political headlines now, apparent convention bounce from mitt romney in a new poll following the republican gather. a boost among independents for governor romney, 45% rate him favorable compared to 34% before his speech on thursday.
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20% find him likeable compared to 16% before the speech. paul ryan campaigned in virginia on friday addressing a group of about 1800 supporters in richmond. >> the president has put us on a path of decline, of debt, a nation in doubt. here's the good news, we can fix this by electing mitt romney the next president of the united states! >> and vice president biden rallied voters in ohio speaking to a crowd in lordstown. >> help us win ohio and if we win ohio, we win the election. >> the vice president will be making some stops in pennsylvania and wisconsin tomorrow. this brings us to our twitter question for all of you, did the republican convention change anyone's mind? talk to me on twitter, i'll get to reading some of your tweets throughout the day. one other political note and this could be significant. it is a victory for groups fighting new voting restrictions in ohio. a federal judge reinstated early
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voting on the three days leading up to november's election. the state's republican governor and legislature had decided to cut off early in person voting on the friday before election day. but a clinton appointed district judge called it arbitrary. >> they plan to appeal. president obama is in iowa. it's a busy holiday weekend for the president. he kicks off his road to charlotte tour today. after speaking to soldiers in texas yesterday, both the president and mitt romney are campaigning in battleground states and visiting the hurricane damaged areas in louisiana. kristen welker is traveling with the president so she's live in urbandale iowa with the latest. what's the latest from that part of the country? >> reporter: well, good morning to you, alex. president obama has a very busy holiday weekend. he's campaigning trying to build
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momentum ahead of the democratic national convention. this is a state that of course holds special meaning to the president not only is it a key battleground state but helped propel him to the white house in 2008. from here president obama heads to colorado then he's going to step back from the campaign trail temporarily on monday to visit louisiana to meet with folks who were impacted by hurricane isaac to meet with officials there as well. now, of course, this comes on the heels of mitt romney visiting louisiana on friday. both campaigns were asked if it was a problem that romney went to the region before the president and both campaigns essentially said there was no problem in that. a republican governor bobby jindal is appreciative that both candidates, both men are taking the time to come and visit the region. mitt romney will be quite busy as well. he'll be stumping in ohio today, another big battleground state, one he needs to win in order to
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win the white house this year. this comes on the heels of the republican national convention. he is hoping to harness some of the momentum that he may have gotten from the republican national convention and of course that all-important speech that he gave on thursday. analysts are saying that the speech was really quite effective because it was one of the romney's most personal accounts to date but he's also getting criticism from the speech, especially from the obama campaign pointing to the fact that he didn't mention the troops in afghanistan. the romney campaign has pushed back against that saying the candidate spoke to the american legion on wednesday, a day before. i don't have to tell you the other speech that is getting a lot of attention and headlines is that speech that was delivered by clint eastwood, 82-year-old gave this performance talking to an empty chair that was meant to be president obama. a lot of people calling that speech bizarre. the obama campaign tweeted out a
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picture saying this seat is taken in response to his speech. but the romney campaign pushed back against the criticism. he's an actor, he delivered this performance that was unique. he also pointed out the high unemployment rate. he called for leadership change. the romney campaign is saying that the speech was worth while. interestingly, alex, they also say the candidate himself found the speech to be funny. a lot of political analysts watching to see if romney will get any bump from the rnc. >> we're in the business, that speech by clint eastwood was not on the teleprompter, was it? it was one of those i'm thinking, where is he going with this thing? it was kind of interesting, right? >> reporter: it was fascinating to watch. he had no teleprompter. he improvised the entire thing. i think a lot of romney campaign officials say they weren't quite sure what he was going to do with the speech. that's how he wound up handling it. the fact he's an acting icon
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made the romney campaign say we appreciate he was there and participated and it is the big talker of the weekend. >> absolutely. it was a performance from an acting icon. kristen welker, good to see you. >> thanks, alex. >> what are you going to find when you hit the road this labor day weekend? a new record. we'll tell you what kind. >> in office politics, pushing for an election prediction from msnbc contributor rich asard wolffe. he's going to tell us who is going to win and by how much. we're going to show it to you here. why should our wallets tell us what our favorite color is? every room deserves to look great. and every footstep should tell us we made the right decision. so when we can feel our way through the newest, softest, and most colorful options... ...across every possible price range... ...our budgets won't be picking the style. we will. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot.
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♪ interesting numbers there. a new poll out this morning shows gain for mitt romney in the wake of the republican convention. the new reuters poll shows 31% of voters find romney likeable, which is a 5-point jump. joining me now, amy parnz and ed o'keefe. did you get sleep? i know i didn't. my apologies if i mess it up. we're seeing a slight bounce for mitt romney particularly among independents. this is an early poll but how long might any bounce last? >> well, you know, i would rather look at a poll two weeks from this morning than look at a poll taken in the 24 hours after
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the convention. not because i don't trust the folks at reuters for putting together the survey. once romney has spoken and the president has had his chance and democrats have had their chance next week in charlotte and voters digest what both sides had to say, then i think we'll have a better sense of what it is that voters are thinking, that small group of undecided voters. certainly a 5% bump in the early hours after the convention is a good sign for romney. he needs to work on that. also look at his gap with hispanic voters and women voters in the coming days. if the gap closes there, that shows you the convention was a success and still do have a good ball game going on. >> amy, the last poll showed mitt romney trailing rather significantly among women voters. did anything at the convention help move the needle? >> i think you're seeing that a little bit in the new poll but that remains to be seen. i think the romney campaign is running out of time. president obama has a double
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digit lead with women. they need to make inroads with that demographic and make that big push now. >> watching the convention this week, amie, the outreach to women was the overwhelming i guess effort. it seemed like it was everywhere. did you read it that way as well? did it come off as genuine or authentic. some people suggested a little pandering there? >> maybe a little bit. if they really need this demographic, you saw ann romney say i love you women, i hear your voices. that was effective, you heard condoleezza rice, probably the most effective speaker arguably in the convention also make those points. you saw teary eyed women in the crowd and some women i've spoken to appreciated the effort. they said that it kind of humanized mitt romney and made him a little more three dimensional and appreciated that effort. >> one thing it did do, ann romney spoke to all of the different categories of women. she did a good job of crossing
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everybody there. ed, is there a single line in the speech or any sort of memorable moment that might have staying power with the independent voters? >> i think if you look at mitt romney's speech for thursday night, he touched on an argument that the republican national committee had been making in their ads that i think not only will they continue to make but the romney campaign will make more broadly, the idea of disappoint that you like the president and appreciated the history of his election four years ago and grappling with parting ways with him this time around. romney was saying, it's okay to do that if you field the need. i'm an alternative, give me an opportunity to try it and hold me accountable in four years. i understand the history and why people like him, he is not prepared tore president and it's time to change leaders. if that argument is one that starts to work and we see traction with it in the coming weeks, that will likely be the message into the fall. all you need to do is tip just a few independent voters and maybe
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moderate democrats in some of these states and say, look, you may be a democrat or someone who liked him, if you're unemployed or your son is unemployed or neighbor is unemployed and making less money than four years ago, it's because of him and you should part ways with him. i think you will see more of that from republicans generally. >> amie as we look to the big gathering in charlotte next week. is there an advantage to going second? is any gop bump going to be a race the second the gavel drops on the democrat? >> i think there is an advantage. obama advisers say they have been attacking us and this is our chance to say what we're going to do, talk about our record and next administration. so i think that they are going to seize upon this moment to make that case and do based on the heels of these clint eastwood remarks, there was
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criticism that other surrogates went off message. i think this is their opportunity to sort of go forward and kind of have an advantage in that way. >> ed, last week we talked about the message that governor romney had to send across. what is the message president obama needs to get across? >> two things based on conversations with voters i've had in recent weeks that the prtd has got to do. explain what it's he wants to do in the next four years, i am dwrags reform? focus on fixing the deficit or your favorite issue of climate change? what are you going to do? secondly, so many voters say i'll vote for president but whoever wins the presidency, will not matter because they have to work to congress. to talk about how they would talk with republicans and where possibly they might be willing to part ways and negotiate on certain issues. look at the gridlock across the country. voters are upset about it and
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want to know both parties are going to work together. perhaps the president could give some sense of where he's willing to give in negotiations either during the lame duck or next four years. >> ed o'keefe and amie parnes, thanks so much. life imitating art on supermarket shelves. our story is coming up in the three big money headlines. police have a sticky situation to investigate the theft of $30 million of maple syrup. someone broke into a warehouse and they produce 70% of the world's maple sir up. vermont produced virtually nothing so the value is on the rise. ♪
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a busy labor day travel weekend tops the money headline. two, back to school boost and three, pantry pop art. economy analyst and author of black market millions is here to break this down. >> good to see you. >> good to see you too. >> millions of others are hitting road on labor day weekend and we're sitting here working. despite paying more at the pump, hurricane isaac is not the only thing left to blame for the gas prices, is it? >> about 33 million people are set to go on that road this labor day weekend and traveling more than 50 miles in their travels, according to aaa. no, you would think isaac had a major impact, it exacerbated the gas prices but really what was happening in early august, a bunch of refinery fires and shutdowns. so the chevron refinery had a fire in california. that pushed prices up 30 cents to $4.15.
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>> that sounds like a record. >> yes. >> and other refineries had -- there's a pipeline shutdown in the midwest and refinery they shut down another refinery somewhere in the midwest. that was driving up the prices in early august. those prices were actually coming down until when isaac hit. when isaac hit, that drove up the prices ten cents. anl sifts are saying that will come down now that isaac is on the way out. >> what about the boom in back to school shopping? >> back to school shopping is interesting because what analysts are saying is that parents spent less over the summer in anticipation of spending more for september. so what you're seeing now are the retailers having better than expect d numbers. for example, nordstrom, target, better than expected numbers there. it's because they were holding back. in addition to the fact there's a new fashion cycle happening. you walk down the street and see these store windows with bright
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colors and jeans that everyone is sort -- your eyes gravitate towards, analysts are saying that's what spawning this buying spree. and they are saying that it may not go on towards christmas because we still -- consumer confidence is still low and people are worried about unemployment. a lot of these retailers are kind of revising their guidance as they move forward. >> here's what's interesting, what's the big pop art push, andy warhol, the soup will look great. >> i love pop art and tomato soup. remember the 32 campbell soup cans that andy warhol painted 50 years ago, they are celebrating that painting. what they are going to do is rerelease the campbell's soup can and sell it for 75 cents. these campbell's soup cans will be decorated as like a warhol painting. >> that is cool. >> in the bright colors, your pantry will look great and it will be a collector's item. >> that sounds like fun, sounds
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like something to purchase. >> in today's one minute playback, new reaction to clint eastwood's big night in tampa. by now you probably formed your own opinion. it's been mostly panned but he is getting surprising support. >> i find it so disappointing that someone's whose films i like so much is so politically an idiot. but i have to object to the conventional wisdom that came out from this two seconds after he stopped that he was senile and crazy. he's not. he knew the chair was empty. and as a performer and stand-up comedian for 30 years, excuse me, he went out there without a net on a tightrope, no teleprompter, he did a bit with just an empty chair. and killed. >> well -- >> if i may -- >> it was consistent and it worked. and people have been saying for years, these conventions are too
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scripted and too overproduced. i guy went up there wasn't shlik and killed with the prompters. i have to give props for that. [ female announcer ] the power of green coffee extract is now in our new starbucks refreshers™ -- a breakthrough in natural energy. made with real fruit, starbucks refreshers™ are delicious low calorie drinks you can feel good about. ♪ rethink how you re-energize. ♪ get a boost of natural energy with a new starbucks refreshers™, in three ways. natural energy from green coffee extract, only from starbucks.
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>>a minute, mom! let's broaden the world's energy mix. let's go. welcome back at 31 past the hour. the remnants of isaac are moving north and dull ping heavy rains on the midwest. meanwhile, louisiana, the slowly receding floodwaters are revealing damage from the storm. crews rush to restore electricity. gabe gutierrez is live for us. gabe, looks like a mess where you are. i'll bet you conquer with that, right? >> reporter: it's a beautiful morning, beautiful sunrise in louisiana. for most part the water is receding. now, energy crews are scrambling to restore power. they are coming in from all across the country. at last check, about half a
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million people are without power throughout the gulf coast and the damage stretches from louisiana to mississippi to arkansas. right now isaac is being blamed for at least five deaths throughout the area. the storm dumped up to 20 inches of rain in some places trapping many people in their homes. in nearby slidell, police officers had to rush to rescue people from their homes. they fear they could find more bodies inside submerged homes. while many floodwaters are receding in louisiana, the big problem today will be the power outages as residents struggle to recover from the storm. >> i'm curious, gabe, not that it would be effective given the water there, people should not be traveling on the street. i can't tell with the street lights behind you, the lights on there with the street lights or no? >> reporter: no, these are out, this is highway 51. and right down there is i-10.
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parts of i-10 were shut down yesterday. we do see some traffic traveling on i-10, but definitely some of these streets are very difficult to pass through. people should be careful especially this morning, it's still difficult in the night time hours since there's no power, can't see where there's standing water or not in some areas. for the most part the standing water is receding in many parts of louisiana. but some places like this, still seeing the effects of isaac. >> got to be wearing your boots, for sure. many thanks. well the $14.5 billion levee system built for new orleans by the army corps of engineers worked. the city was saved from major flooding. but people in the parishes outside of new orleans say they remain unprotected. ken holder of the u.s. army corps of engineers joins me live. welcome to you. clearly the new levees in new orleans, they properly proved reliable. but how much of a test did they really get?
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>> they got an incredible test by all standards you can look at from everybody who reported. this was a storm like no other storm. it may have been a category one storm. as you heard from your reporter, dumped up to 20 inches in some places. the surge was only a foot and a half difference from katrina. it was a real test of the system and was real test of the engineering and science that went into building this. the country should be really, really proud of the science and engineering that went behind this and created this system in a short period of time. >> yeah, let's talk about where there are problems which is the water topping the levees in plaquemines parish. here is how one resident described it. take a listen. >> they fixed new orleans, that's great, fine. you have to fix everything. you can't fix one major city and leave the little parishes to fend for yourself. we feel left out right now. >> how do you react? >> that's going to be a discussion that takes place at the national level. it's -- i thnk you heard the
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louisiana congressional delegation out there ahead of this talking about it and talking about what they see as the future and future levee work and things they feel like need to be done. that will be a discussion that takes place at the highest levels of the federal government and i'm sure that they'll come to a place where they come to a resolution and come back to us if they want us to study or construct other projects. >> when you talk about costs, i guess the cost and effectiveness when you have relatively sparsely populated areas, they are prone to flooding. and it will take billions to fix it. i mean, how do you find the common ground there? >> it's interesting, we do a cost benefit analysis for every corps of engineers project. and that's something we have to do. i would say that some of the things that you look at with that they may change and look at in the future, may have to do with coastal restoration and things like that. you're not just protecting a way of life or protecting people. you're also protecting vital oil
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infrastructure that really feeds the rest of the nation. this discussion is an appropriate discussion to have at this time and it will be one that you'll hear about a lot in washington over the months and days and weeks to come. >> i'm sure you're right. thanks for your time. >> you can track the remnants of isaac on weather.com. a new beginning for penn state football today. they open the season against ohio university. at least 15,000 people rallied at the stadium last night. they showed their support as the community tries to move on following the child sex abuse scandal that brought down former coach joe paterno and jerry sandusky. >> pulls everybody back together again. we're like one big happy family that you can't break apart. >> to let them know we're behind them 100%. it's not their fault and we're here for you. >> we can't tell you how much we appreciate this. this is awesome. and we need to hear you tomorrow. we need to hear you loud and
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proud and cheering these guys on. >> the school also formally launched the together we are one campaign that unites students, alumni and the community. new this morning, president obama amarking the second anniversary of the end of the iraq war in his weekly address. >> while the war itself remains a source of controversy here at home. one thing will never be in doubt. the members of our armed forces are patriots in every sense of the world. they met every mission and performed every task that was asked of them with precision and commitment and skill. >> the president spent friday at fort bliss in texas praising soldiers for their work in defeating saddam hussein and helping rebuild iraq. have you ever noticed how hard it is to pin anyone down with their prediction for the election? well, in office politics at the time i did just that. richard wolffe, though he did it und under duress.
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>> if you are alex witness, putting a gun to my head right now -- >> where's my gun. >> and saying, make a call, i would say obama by 2 points. but, this is where i push the gun away and say but, in a two-point election, anything can happen. comes down to turnout and comes down to the dynamic of the last couple of weeks as well. you know, one thing i think is hard to poll is that people like to vote for the winner. they like to vote for someone who feels like it's going to be the winning side. >> yeah, val dates them. >> but there's also bragging rights. in the last couple of weeks you'll get a sense of -- >> momentum. >> momentum, who's got the winning feel to them. and that's going to come out of the debates and where that new
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cycle is. so that's a couple of points right there. and turnout is a couple of points, that's a couple of points. but like i said, if this is 2004 all over again, it's in reverse partiwise. but it's a one or two-point race. >> one, there you have it. coming up at noon, richard will review the upcoming rnc and we'll talk about where mitt romney stands after this week of fan fair. a man who calls himself a hill billy is making up as a millionaire. don lawson came forward to claim the third biggest powerball ever. he chose the smaller lump sum payment of $240 million. he tells us what he did with the ticket once he learned he won. >> the ticket went in my bible then it was put under my couch. it was put on the top of my refrigerator and it was put numerous places before i was
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able to put it in the bank. >> aside from quitting his job, the father of two says he'll still be the same person. he'll keep eating fast food because he didn't like fillet mignon or lobster. he can buy a lot of fast food with that. americans now find mitt romney more likeable after his convention speech, but does that mean more people will vote for him? that's coming up next. uit. which provided for their every financial need. and then, in one blinding blink of an eye, their tree had given its last. but with their raymond james financial advisor, they had prepared for even the unthinkable. and they danced. see what a raymond james advisor can do for you.
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...the best selling paint and primer in one that now eliminates stains. so it paints over stained surfaces, scuffed surfaces, just about any surface. what do you say we go where no paint has gone before, and end up some place beautiful. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. get $5 off one gallon cans of our best paint, including behr ultra, now through september 5th. president obama will be hoping for a convention boost following next week. and a new poll shows mitt romney may have done just that. 26% of registered voters found him likeable and by the end of the week it was up to 31%. can he sustain the gains until
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november? political editor mark murray joins us via skype. >> this is my first time, alex, bear with me. it's a lot of fun chatting with you from north carolina here. >> i'm glad we've got you. we can get you there, mark. do the post convention likability boosts, do they traditionally last until election day or are they even built upon? >> they traditionally are short lived and the reason why a convention, republican convention lasted three days, normally last four days. end up getting the world's attention and party and candidate gets unfiltered their message to the public usually with very little pushback, it's not surprising you see numbers, whether head to head or favorable numbers inch up a little bit. and what is going to be very interesting is that you end up having a republican convention in tampa, followed by the democratic national convention here in charlotte, north carolina and so it is very likely that any type of bounce might be negated by what comes
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out of here at the democratic convention this week. >> the biggest jump for mitt romney is the favorable rating among the independents from just thursday to friday after a speech and since jumped 11%. first up to you was his speech that good and secondly, is this how governor romney wins the election via the independents? >> i think this is precisely what you see from the short lived bounces in conventions where people who might be tuning in for the first time. that's your independent or swing voter, sees something they like. they like a story that mitt romney told that his wife ann romney told. it's not surprising but i would take a little bit the independent numbers from one poll to the next with a little bit of grain of salt when you're dealing with independence, it's usually a smaller sample. there's a higher margin of error going from one independent pool on one day to another one the next day. clearly, there is -- this is the bounce that we're seeing.
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the question is what does this race look like after the democratic convention. >> despite the gains, everyone is talking about clint eastwood, mark, and not as much about mitt romney's speech. do you think there's a lasting impact potential here? >> i don't think we know just yet. here's the danger of clint eastwood, if there was a swing voter tuning in and said i'm going to turn on my tv set at 10:00 p.m. because i want to see what mitt romney has to say and they see clint eastwood talking to an invisible chair, empty chair having an invisible interview. if they clicked away and turned the channel away to something else, that's a problem for the romney campaign. might not have been able to grab that person's attention. but again -- could be talking about something else next week zpl if you're watching clint eastwood talking to an empty chair, i don't think you can turn away. what's going on there? how about the latest in terms of what you're hearing with expectations for next week in
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charlotte where you are? >> well, i think the democrats will make a two-pronged sell to the american public. one, they want to actually display a lot of accomplishment that the obama administration has achieved in the last three and a half years and let voters know the three and a half years have been consequential and meaningful. and second, they are going to draw contrast with the republican party in mitt romney and make the argument if mitt romney and republicans are in control of washington, here is what the country would look like four years from now. i think those are the dual messages you'll end up hearing from the democratic convention in charlotte and chatting with some democrats here, they want to avoid any type of interview with an empty chair. >> okay, yeah, he's going, this seat is taken i believe is what they tweeted out there. thanks for joining us and well done on your first skype. >> all right. thanks. >> for more of all things political, check out first read
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at nbcnews.com. the first place for news and analysis from the nbc news political unit. up next, a war of words and new twist in the debate over what should be kept secret in the bin laden book that the exnavy s.e.a.l. wrote. [ female announcer ] research suggests cell health plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day women's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for women's health concerns as we age. it has more of 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day 50+.
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the former navy s.e.a.l. whose book "no easy day" is now fighting back against the pentagon's threats he could face prosecution for exposing classified information. yesterday the s.e.a.l.'s lawyer sent a letter to the pentagon saying he has not leak any secrets. joining me now is kim dosier, intelligence writer for the "associated press" who's covering this story.
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kim, it's a pleasure having you. thanks for joining me. i heard you got an early copy of the book and you interviewed the author. what is your biggest take away? >> well, from their standpoint, they don't believe they revealed any classified information but they didn't give the pentagon a chance to read through it, the cia a chance to read through it before committing it to print. so from the standpoint of the organizations looking at this thing, there are things in there they didn't want to see out, things like the mention of a cia officer who was the head of the bin laden team, the mention of another cia officer who was on the actual raid. there are things in there that from the author's standpoint, no problem, but if you're a pentagon lawyer looking at this, they've served them notice that they find great problems and they've signaling that they may prosecute but they haven't said they are going ahead. they gave the author a chance to hold the book back.
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>> kimberly, from your vantagepoint, what you picked up from this book, something that we would not have known, what's the biggest thing for you that way? >> the thing that i just kept reading over and over was the s.e.a.l. officer's account of the actual killing of osama bin laden. i spoke to so many officials right after the raid who walked me through the sequence. they said that the s.e.a.l.s in the darkened hallway saw what looked like bin laden poke his head out of the door of a room and then disappeared so they had to assume he was going for a weapon, they ran down the hallway and they went in and fired, one shot to the head, two to the chest. that was the old version of events. this s.e.a.l. author has a different version of events. he sate the s.e.a.l. fired a couple of shots when his head poked out and then they walked, not ran when they saw more shots
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were fired into him. this is what many experts have told me called a clean shoot but it's a very different sequence of events. a slightly different sequence of events that makes it a little more questionable as did they ever give the guy a chance to surrender. >> okay. now, that is a good point, but wasn't the capture, if not killing of osama bin laden always imperative. wasn't there always a shoot-to-kill order that, yeah, you want to take him but the reality was he said he would never be taken alive. i mean did we ever think he would actually survive being captured? >> well, the people on the mission, according to the author, did not. they did have very careful orders that he describes from a lawyer who briefed them from the white house. the lawyer said if he surrenders, if he's naked from the waist up and has his hands up to show he's not armed, okay,
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you can take him in and should. but if you feel you're threatened, take him out, and that's what they did. >> so what kind of legal problems is the author facing? are they very serious for him? >> they could be. now, the publisher does not believe that the threat is serious. they're going ahead with the publication, so you can get the book, you know, midnight monday night, tuesday's the official release date. you can actually already find it at some grocery stores. some friends have bought it already. but -- so that means that the publisher is not paying attention to the pentagon's veiled threat that they'll go ahead with the prosecution. the pentagon's spokesman did say on friday we're giving them a chance to make a good-faith effort to pull the book back. they haven't. what they could face is possibly years of legal prosecution by the department of justice. >> kimberly, i have just a second. i have to ask in terms of threats. the al qaeda website threats to kill the author, how credible are those? >> now that the author's real
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name is out, look, none of the other s.e.a.l.s who have written books have face add threat like this, but no one has ever written about being on the raid that killed osama bin laden. >> kimberly dozar, thanks so much. >> straight ahead we'll have more political talk with "up with chris hayes." he's in studio. when my tempur-p. [ male announcer ] ...talk to someone who owns an adjustable version of the most highly recommended bed in america. ask me about my tempur advanced ergo. ask me about having all the right moves. [ male announcer ] these are real tempur advanced ergo owners. find one for yourself. try your friends on facebook. see what they have to say unedited. ask me what it's like to get a massage anytime you want. [ male announcer ] tempur-pedic brand owners are more satisfied than owners of any traditional mattress brand. [ woman ] ask me why i'm glad i didn't wait till i'm too old to enjoy this. [ male announcer ] treat yourself to the ultimate sleep experience and save up to $400 during the tempur ergo savings event.
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